February 23, 2014

Demons Ascension - Where The Magic Happens

[Posted by Ted H]

Whoops, did I miss a week? My bad. I'll make it up with something a little different next meek(maybe)


[Demons Ascension - Where The Magic Happens]

            "How come I'm the only one in cuffs?" James asked yet again. He had lost count, but he still wanted to know why John was allowed to sit with his hands free while his hands remained bonded behind his back. "Could you just stop, please?" John asked as he leaned back in his chair and looked to the ceiling. James shifted uncomfortably in his chair, it wasn't able to lean back like John's was.
            "So this is where the magic happens, eh?" James asked after a moment "Your desk?"
            John shrugged without looking away from the ceiling. "It's where the paperwork happens," he said.
            "So how much trouble are we in?"
            "Judging by how he was yelling? Not as much as you think?"
            "Really? I thought he was fuming?"
            "I've seen Bradford pissed. He tends to wave his gun around and scream gibberish."
            "So you're saying he was in a good mood?"
            "Well, the fact that he was able to get onto the crime scene before the body cooled off was a plus, despite how it was tapered by the fact that you had practically been dancing around the entire scene."
            "I didn't step in anything."
            "Stephanie's room and the Williams alley were both already gone over with a fine tooth comb by the time I brought you in. No one minded you meddling through then, but the church was going over the line."
            "You brought me in here to help, not sit on the sidelines and backseat drive."
            "How did you know about the church?" John said as he sat up and looked right at James. There was nowhere for James to go. John had all the time in the world and James was handcuffed in the middle of a police station. "I'm just gonna say it straight up," he said "Don't think I'm crazy or anything."
            James checked around himself to make sure no one else would be able to listen in. The station was mostly empty. It was only around 5am but there were a few officers milling about. "I woke up and there was someone in the living room with me," James said.
            "Lyle?" John asked.
            "No not Lyle," James snapped "Someone else. Someone I've never seen before. I don't know how they got in and I don't know how they got out, but we had a conversation going until he abruptly stopped it and told me to head for the church."
            "Can you describe this guy? Maybe he's involved."
            "He's not involved. Not directly. He had particular interest in me stopping whoever is behind the murders."
            "What he look like?"
            "Glowing red eyes, smokers voice, older type."
            "No one I've seen in this investigation. Not that I'll be seeing much more of it anyway."
            "You didn't do anything wrong. Hell, you were trying to chase down the guy responsible while I was off doing what I did."
            "I brought you in here. Bradford made it clear you were my responsibility. So you going through the crime scene before the proper authorities is being placed squarely on my shoulders."
            "Be square with me, what are we looking at when Bradford gets here?"
            "Odds are he'll find any reason he can to get you out of town, and if he doesn't, Chief Monroe will once he gets word about this. I'm probably looking at some sort of discipline too."
            "Is that so?" James asked as he looked around the area "Then we have little time left to figure something new out." John threw his hands onto his desk "What can we possibly do at this point?" he asked.
            "Where's Bradford's area?" James asked as John pointed to a desk across the room. Near the desk was a white board with various things written and pictures taped on. James stood up and walked over to the board. "What do you think you're doing?" John asked as he followed. "This is everything Bradford knows about the murders, huh?" James asked as he looked over the board.
            There was nothing new for James to see from any of the information posted. No motive for the murders and no connection to the two victims. James had been hoping that seeing all the information laid out before him would help him piece together something he wasn't already seeing, but there was nothing to gain.
            On the far right of the board was a map of the area; two places marked as the crime scenes in marker. "Where is the church on this map?" James asked as John asked "Why?"
            "Just please humor me?" James said as he tried to readjust his hands behind his back. The handcuffs were really beginning to hurt his wrists. He tried to ignore the pain as John checked the map for where the church was. James remember Stan pretty much sent them in a straight line from Brittany and Stephanie's house. That couldn't have been by chance.
            "Here," John said as he pointed to where the church was on the map. "Could you get me out of these cuffs?" James asked "It's not like I'd get far if I ran in a building full of cops." A few moments late, James was free and after stretching his arms for a moment, he went up to the map.
            "This is your sister's house," he said pointing to the map, then trailed his finger in a straight line east until he stopped "And this is the church. He then backtracked west on the map halfway, then dropped south until his finger rested on another marked point. "And this is the Williams alley. All three points are perfectly measured. The same distance."
            James then grabbed a pencil and drew three more marks on the map. One directly between the church and the sisters house, and two more, one directly south of the house and church that lined up with the alley. "These could be potential targets," James said as John stared at the map a moment "There might be a pattern. If there is, we can head off the next murder before it happens."
            "Bradford won't buy this," John said "If we're going to bring something to his attention, we need something concrete." James made a face and stared at the map again. "These three points are worth checking out at least," he said but even he knew it was a stretch. The first three were what he needed to be looking at. Their positions made a perfect triangle and that was no accident.
            "The locations are intentional," he said to himself as he traced the triangle on the map with his finger. "The center," he said as he placed his finger there "What is this?" John looked and shrugged. "What would it matter?" he asked. John took a breath. "The one thing that's been bugging Bradford has been the randomness of each location while everything else about the murders have been the same. A home, an alley and now a church? What's the point in these locations except the fact that it's the physical distance they make that's important, not the locations themselves. Those symbols, what direction do you remember them facing?"
            John shrugged. James thought a moment before continuing. "The one in the alley faced directly north. The side of your sister's house that had the symbol? Wasn't it facing southeast? I bet you my life that somewhere on the church facing southwest is another symbol. That means they're all facing towards a central point," he threw his finger to the center point on the map. "It's all part of these rituals. The MO, the symbols, the locations, they're all part of something and whatever this building is, that is the key."
            "Bradford doesn't think they're ritual slayings," John said "He thinks the ritual elements you bring up were staged so they throw the investigation off."
            "So, even if I point everything out to him again," James said "He won't even check out this middle building?" John shook his head.
            "Well then," James said with a smile "I guess it's up to us."
            "No..." John started.
            "Look," James broke in "What do you think Bradford will do with us once he gets here? He's gonna threaten us, and tell us to stay the hell away from the investigation. So unless we bring his something good now..."
            John shook his head as he lowered it "I...I don't know, man. Haven't we done enough?"
            "John," James said as he placed a hand on John's shoulder "You brought me in to this to help solve it. There's only so much I can do by following what the police are doing. Help me run this lead down, otherwise why bother bringing me in?" John bit his lip as he looked up at James.
            "It'll be like the old days," James continued "The police can run their own investigation, while we do our own thing and catch the bad guy." John sighed as he stood up. "You won't take no for an answer, will you?" he said. "We try this one lead," James said "And if it doesn't work out, I promise I'll stay on the sidelines and be good and useless like everyone else wants me to be."
            "I know you're lying about that last part," John said "But fuck it, let's go for it." James smiled as he slapped John on the back. "Sweet! Now let's go before Bradford shows up."

February 9, 2014

Demons Ascension - Church

For those wondering...we're not even at the halfway point...The full version is available upon request though...


[Demons Ascension - Church]

            Stan had pulled the same disappearing trick Amy had been doing when James turned away at one point, but not before telling him where he needed to get to, stressing the fact that he needed to hurry. James all but kicked down the guest room door to wake John up and they were now speeding along in John's car. The only coherent thing John could get out of James was that they needed to go east as fast as humanly possible.
            "Looking for a church," James said as John sped down the street. James had hoped there was a speed trap so that they could have a couple patrol cars in tow when they arrived. "Only one church on this street," John said as he drove "Why the hell are we going there? You said something about a tip." James didn't want to get into it, mainly because he knew exactly how it would sound. He knew he wasn't dreaming or crazy though when he noticed the stains on the carpet in the living room from where Stan shattered his glass. "Just get me to that church," James said, feeling uneasy still from his previous conversation.
            The rain had all but stopped by the time they arrived at St. Josephs Catholic Church. James jumped out and sprinted through the yard and up stone stairs for the front doors. He uselessly pulled at them, but they refused to swing open. "The place is closed," John said as he came up the walkway "I'm sure any sins you need to confess can wait.
            "Gotta be another way in," James said to himself as he turned to see John looking up at him with an odd look on his face. "Ready to explain things yet?" he asked as James looked out at the surrounding street. Everything around him was bathed in the night, the only light coming from wherever a streetlight was. The entire street was calm and silent, with darkness only broken up by the occasional pool of light before plunging back into darkness. A figure slowly making their way away from the church caught James' eye as it passed into light momentarily, the light shining in such stark contrast to the night around it that James was able to clearly make him out as if it were day.
            "Gray trench coat," James said as he noticed the coat the hooded figure was wearing. "I see him," John said as James jumped down the stairs and took off after the man. "Get the car!" he yelled as he sped up down the road after the man, flashing his way through the pools of light as the figure glanced back and noticed James before taking off down a different street. There was no way in hell James was about to buy a coincidence that a man wearing the same color trench coat was walking away from the same place James had been led to by...suspicious means. James wasn't ready just yet to admit to who he was having a conversation with before, but he was more open to believing it now that he was chasing down his potential suspect.
            James turned down the street the man had run down to find that he had covered an uncanny amount of ground before James could see him again. John then came up following in his car, the wheels squealing on the slick pavement as he turned the corner and roared down the street, barely missing James as he flew down the street in pursuit. The suspect kept running at a Usain Bolt level of speed before turning the corner again in an effort to lose John. This only served to support James' "Superman did it" theory, but he figured then the suspect would just fly away.
            James figured John was calling for backup if not already. He decided to head back for the church and wait for someone else to arrive and also to see if there was an alternate way in. If the suspect had indeed come from within the church, then there would have to be a way in that James could exploit. James walked over to the side of the church facing the direction he had come from. Towards the back was an entrance hidden from the street by some bushes. James walked up to find the handle broken and the door hanging ajar. "This is encouraging," he said as he walked in.
            Inside was a hallway that led strait from where James entered and a stairway directly to his left that went up. James noticed a set of bloody footprints on the stairs and decided to go up, being careful not to step near the footprints. The trail led up and through an additional room before he entered into the church proper. The lights were left on and James got a good look at the scene. "Oh, this can't be holy," James said as he wandered deeper into the crime scene.
            Blood had been spilled everywhere and was overflowing out of the baptism fountain. Laid out in the middle of the floor by the alter was a man, stripped nude and had his arms strait out on each side like he was on a cross. His chest looked as if it had been ripped open and left that way as he sported his own impressive pool of blood. Crumpled up near one of the pews in front were ripped up black clothes. James stepped over some blood and looked at the clothes, then looked at the man on the ground.
            "A priest," he said as he walked over to the body. The MO so far seemed to match up with the previous murders. Looking into the open chest cavity, James could tell the heart was missing, but he also noticed the position of all the organs; they had been taken out and placed back in reverse positioning. James also noticed a different injury not present on any of the other victims; a slash across the palm of the man's right hand.
            James could hear sirens as he left the body and continued looking elsewhere around the church. Nearby he found a bloody box cutter. No way it could have done the damage James saw, but he figured it was used by the priest against his attacker. "Or maybe," James said to himself as he looked back at the priest "He used it on himself."
            James scanned the area farther away from the scene. This priest knew he was going to die. Perhaps he tried to get a message off the only way he could. He would cut open his hand and leave a message in blood about his attacker, but he couldn't do it near where he'd die or else the message would be lost. "Where would I leave my dying message?" James asked as he heard the police begin to force their way in through the front doors of the church.
            "Of course!" he exclaimed as he ran over, jumped over the pool of blood and ascended the two steps leading up to the altar. On the table were a few large, hastily scrawled letters in blood. "C, R, O, A," James read aloud "and an L?" The first four letters were uppercase, but the L was lowercase, it merely being a straight line that trailed all the way off the table, as if the priest had been pulled away while he was writing.
            The front doors crashed open and two officers rushed inside, guns drawn. James turned around at the altar with his arm raised. "Boy, do I have some explaining to do or what?" he said with a forced smile.
            Unsurprisingly, James had been detained at the scene while the officers waited for more backup. Over an hour later, Bradford strolled in with John in tow, neither had a happy look on their faces. "Tell me you caught the guy," James asked as John made a face and shook his head. "Guy moved fast. Jumped out of view and lost me."
            "Well that's just great. How about we get these cuffs off me, huh?" James said to John "Could you tell these guys I'm one of the good guys?"
            "This is my scene and I call the shots here, remember?" Bradford broke in "And personally, I think it better if we leave you that way. Now what were you doing here?"
            "Just making sure everyone here was ok. I'm not so sure about the priest, you might wanna check on him."
            "Do I look amused? Praque tells me you two were only here by chance because you woke him up in the middle of the night and said "Let's take a drive." So how bout it?"
            "Would you even believe me if I tried to tell you?"
            "Blake, I swear to God, don't fuck with me. Why. Were. You. Here?"
            The two men stared at each other a moment before James figured something to say. "Just following the clues, detective."
            Bradford took a deep breath and forced it out through his teeth. "I want him out of here!" he barked "Bring him to the station!" he turned to find John "You go with him!" he yelled, not allowing John or James to even protest "I'll deal with you both when I'm done here."